Do you remember the last time you embarked on an ambitious road trip with your family or friends?
To improve your odds of a smooth and successful trip, you likely devoted a lot of time and thought into the planning process instead of just winging it.
The same level of effort, research and detail are required for organizations grappling with the future of work whether it is artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, fintech, 5G or the Internet of Things (IoT).
And the sense of urgency is becoming more pronounced as economist and author Daniel Susskind recently told The Guardian that elements of the future of work are actually happening now.
So, how can organizations prepare for the future to build on their proud legacy or simply survive? We recommend developing a roadmap to deal with technological change – similar to what you would do to prepare for an ambitious adventure.
Since every company and scenario is unique, we take the time to collaborate with senior leaders and their sponsors to create a clear roadmap. It often involves a multi-phase plan that can include:
Determining the internal and external drivers of change
Defining the strategic objectives
Ranking changes based on cost, value and risk
Analysing changes using a series of categories, and
Implementing a strategic program to prepare the organization for the changes ahead.
Throughout the entire process, the one common element is people – the key consideration in any change plan our firm leads. Whether it is collaborating with senior leaders or sponsors in a SWOT workshop – or encouraging feedback and ideas from staff who influence training and future rollouts – we value input from people across all levels of an organization.
The intel we capture in the earlier stages has a direct impact on the final stage of implementation.
For example, the SWOT exercise helps determine which force (internal or external) should be the focus and part of a new set of strategic objectives.
Meanwhile, the analysis of cost, value and risk is also important. It helps determine whether the next stage is just about trying to keep the lights on, achieve moderate growth, or sparking a transformation to either address significant change or pursue a new business model.
The wisdom of Wayne Gretzky
In reflecting on his success, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky once said: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”
Organizations should take the same approach to deal with the future of work. The reality is that the level of technological change that we are experiencing isn’t going to subside. In fact, it’s expected to accelerate and vastly change the landscape we’ve become accustomed to as an article in the MIT Technology Review highlighted.
Even companies in traditionally conservative sectors such as banking, property management and government are taking measures to prepare for the future instead of being content with their past and present operations.
In reflecting on the positive outcomes that we’ve had a role in shaping, there are three recurring keys that we’ve observed:
The organization’s leadership had a clear, compelling vision for the change
The impacted stakeholders were involved in the design, testing and rollout of the technological change, and
The change was measured by the benefits that were expected.
While no one can guarantee success in any pursuit, taking the time to assess where you are, where you want to go and measures you can take to achieve your objectives can improve your chances of earning your desired outcome. And that applies to any journey you have in mind.